Plus Ca Change . . . Soviet-American relations stay the same, even under Reagan

Soviet-American relations stay the same, even under Reagan

Ronald Reagan came to office pledging to be radically different in dealing with the Soviet Union. He disparaged detente. He criticized arms control. He assailed the three-decade-old doctrine of nuclear deterrence.

And, for a while, no one could accuse him of failing to deliver on that promise. Reagan showed little interest in getting to know Soviet leaders. He proposed a dubious and potentially destabilizing scheme for space-based defenses. In a speech that will be remembered long after he leaves office, he stooped to rhetorical depths not seen since the onset of the cold war, decrying the U.S.S.R. as the "focus of...

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